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Trump and Russian Interference

Looks like the president is scared. Why would he even put a spotlight on this?

Nobody ever said or suspected that Russian interference was either invented by Trump or created for Trump. Of course those plans and activities were in place before. But that does not in any way preclude the possibility that once Trump started running, he didn’t think it would be helpful for him to leverage those activities for himself.

Trump pointing this out makes him look guilty.

Sounds to me like a defensive tweet of a nervous mind.

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Long before Trump was a household name due to his reality TV show The Apprentice, I read at least part of his book The Art of the Deal, until I got tired of it. I always thought Trump was a phony. When he announced his run for the presidency a few years ago I thought it was a joke, a vanity project for a man full of himself. When he, against all odds, won the presidency, I was repulsed. I could not imagine that a boor like Trump could actually start acting like a dignified person, like a statesman, like a president. But he can’t be that stupid, I thought. Surely, he can keep his blabbering mouth shut, check his ego at the door, and start acting presidential.

Wrong.

Incompetence in leadership always eventually blows wide open, becomes obvious to everyone around, and destroys an organization from the inside out. Nobody wants to work for a dilettante, as the incompetence wears off, and makes for a very unsatisfying work experience of a daily basis. I expected that unless Trump cleaned up his act, the whole organization would start rotting from the inside out. A foul apple can look just fine on the outside for a long time, until it suddenly implodes, and the stench wafts out.

I expected that this would happen in the Trump White House, and judging from the number of firings and resignations, I think I was right.

If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall in the White House, just read Fire and Fury. Wolff takes you right there in the middle of the action. There is no hype, no exaggeration. He just tells a story, goes from character to character, and reading it after hearing various anecdotes in the news throughout the last few years it just all makes sense.

Here is an excerpt, an email written by Gary Cohn, who is serving as the Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to Trump. He was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2017:  

It’s worse than you can imagine. An idiot surrounded by clowns. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. And his staff is no better. Kushner is an entitled baby who knows nothing. Bannon is an arrogant prick who thinks he’s smarter than he is. Trump is less a person than a collection of terrible traits. No one will survive the first year but his family. I hate the work, but feel I need to stay because I’m the only person there with a clue what he’s doing. The reason so few jobs have been filled is that they only accept people who pass ridiculous purity tests, even for midlevel policy-making jobs where the people will never see the light of day. I am in a constant state of shock and horror.

— Wolff, Michael. Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (p. 186). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

Trump is an ego-maniac, not a leader. That leaves those around him to constantly quarrel for power and influence, and it feels like a game of Survivor, where we listen to the players talk about how they are going to vote people out of the White House. It’s a reality show that is now running our country. What did we expect when we elected a reality show TV personality for president?

I am not surprised that Trump didn’t want this book to come out. He called it full of lies. Reading it, I do not get that impression at all. Yes, there might be some passages that are questionable, but only because he basically listens to what people tell him and reports it. The book is as accurate and reliable as the Trump White House staffers who were interviewed for it.

It’s a riveting story.

I was not surprised about anything I read. It just made sense.

We elected an unfit president. Tough.

Every American should read Fire and Fury.

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Robert O’Neill is the former Navy SEAL who fired the shots that killed Osama bin Laden. The tweet above shows his opinion on Trump’s military parade.

And here is my opinion:

The little man in the White House is getting littler with every childish request he makes. He diminishes our country in front of the world.

Respect?

My ass!

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Trump’s State of the Union

Trump read this speech verbatim. If I had had a few hours to read and practice that speech with a teleprompter, I could have done a better job. I am a much better speaker than Trump. Somebody drilled it into Trump’s head that he must simply read, and ad-lib nothing else. He pretty much followed that advice. It’s funny, though, because I still remember Hannity railing about Obama and how he was a master with the teleprompter. No, Obama was a master speaker. You could never tell he was using a teleprompter. After the Republicans ridiculed Obama and the teleprompter for eight years, they now wish and hope that Trump – for goodness’ sake – stick with the teleprompter.

I do not believe that Trump even believes in God. He says that because people want to hear it. I think Trump does things that are good for Trump and his ilk, no matter what. When he can make it sound like it’s good for the country, it’s even better. Trump does not give a damn about other people, or the American people. He says this because saying it got him the keys to Air Force One and worldwide fame. He’ll say anything for fame and money. I believe he is morally bankrupt. I believe the speech was written by other people and he read it off, and poorly at that.

In 80 boring minutes of Trump droning on, I learned this:

  • Immigrants are killers
  • There are people in the audience who were hurt by immigrants
  • So many more jobs and so much less unemployment
  • Immigrants are terrorists
  • Tax cuts and raises for everyone
  • Obamacare is a disaster
  • Beautiful clean coal
  • Immigrants are killers
  • We love our veterans and military people
  • So much winning
  • And – immigrants are killers

And Trump is really good at giving applause to himself, like a cheerleader.

Slap, slap, slap.

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My post titled Stock Market under Obama and Trump of June 2017 attracted a number of comments from an anonymous reader. While I usually don’t respond to posts by readers who do not identify themselves with a name (Hopeyouarentafinancialadvisor), this one had enough substance that I not only thought it warranted responses, but further research and discussion here.

My argument in June was that, yes, during Trump, the economy, as measured by stock market value increases, has been booming, but I wanted to bring back some credit to Obama, where that boom actually had started back in 2009. I used this chart to illustrate that point.

In subsequent exchanges, the reader said I picked a random starting date for both presidents. Well, the day of inauguration is not all that random. The reader suggested I should use the dates of election, and it would show a different picture. So let’s do that and add to this chart:

[click to enlarge]

Source: Macrotrends.net

My point of the original post was that Trump could not alone take credit for a rising stock market. The stock market had been rising since 2009 at a steady clip, without major dips that we experienced in the Bush years. My point also was that Obama entered during freefall, whether you look at his date of election or inauguration. Yes, if you look at the election dates, due to the timing of the Bush freefall, and subtract the two, the election date difference is smaller than the inauguration date difference.

And yes, looking at the graph 6 months later, one year into the Trump administration, it is visible that there is an inflection point at Trump’s entry and the curve has increased to a steeper slope, particularly in the last six months. I give credit to Trump’s approach of opening regulation and pro-business general policies.

However, if you look at a president’s first year in office alone with respect to the Dow, measuring in percentage gains, not point gains, there is a surprising statistic. Trump is only third in history, beaten by FDR and – surprisingly – Obama. This was well illustrated in the USA Today of January 22, 2018:

[click to enlarge]

Here is another view that shows that Obama’s gain during his first year in office was larger than that of Trump. I know Hopeyouarentafinancialadvisor will argue that this should have been done using election dates rather than inauguration dates, and the numbers would be smaller. However, skewed smaller, because since Obama took over during a freefall, we certainly can’t penalize him from the continued drop before things, thankfully, got caught on the bottom.

So I reassert – given the economic conditions of where Obama started – in a mess – he did alright. I wish it had grown faster, too.

Trump keeps saying he took over a mess. He did not. He took over when things were going quite well, and had been going upward steadily for 8 years. That’s not a mess, even if Hopeyouarentafinancialadvisor might argue that it could have been better.

The real numbers, of course, will be those of the next few years under Trump. Will this trend continue? What will a full four or eight years show?

 

 

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Trump and Airline Safety

So the president is acting like he has something to do with airline safety?

The last time there was a death in the United States due to an airline accident was 2009.

There were zero deaths in:

  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016

Oh, yes, Trump is making America safe again.

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Trump the Hippo

Have you ever seen a video of a hippopotamus twirling its tail like a propeller spreading shit all around behind itself?

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The Trump Administration has ordered the CDC from using these words in official statements:

  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

I posted about this here.

Then I saw the above comment from a poster in Facebook on a friend’s page.

“Love it, doing away with fake words! Go Trump! Just watching liberals freak out and get hysterical over something every other day was worth my vote!”

— Neil Neuwirth

This seems really bizarre. I certainly have severe objections to censorship of any type, particularly as it relates to communication and government. This is the opposite of transparency. Any democracy-minded person should be alarmed when censorship enters the official discourse, particularly at the highest level of government. Mr. Neuwirth does not seem to be worried about that.

Then he calls those words “fake.” I don’t understand. What are the true words for these concepts? Give me a better word for “diversity!” Or “transgender” or “science-based.” I don’t understand the concept of “fake words.” How does a scientific organization like the CDC speak about a fetus without using the word “fetus?”

In the past year, Trump and ilk have created this new concept of “fake” which has become to engender everything they don’t like, it appears. If they don’t unilaterally approve, it’s “fake.” But the contrary is actually the case. When you censor communications, you are hiding the true meaning and covering it up with obfuscation.

Purposefully obfuscating simple concepts so the public can no longer grasp what is really going on is propaganda. We should be weary of propaganda. While the Trump camp now tries to make us believe that all media, foreign and domestic, is “fake news,” except of course Fox News, I suspect the opposite is actually true. When I watch Hannity now I always feel that I am bombarded by propaganda, yet when I read the Washington Post, I feel I am getting clean, succinct and world-class journalism.

By definition, half of the population in the United States has an IQ below average. By banning “big words” the government is pandering to those who have not learned to think critically.

Making America Dumb Again is in full swing.

 

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The Trump administration has ordered the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) not to use the following words in official communications:

  • vulnerable
  • entitlement
  • diversity
  • transgender
  • fetus
  • evidence-based
  • science-based

This is 1984 double-speak.

If they go any further they’ll start burning books in universities. Hiding the truth by not allowing it to be spoken, and making out adverse news and criticism of the government to be lies (fake news), our government is systematically checking off all the boxes on the way to achieving dictatorship.

Then they’ll go after midwives for witchcraft and sentence them to death by quartering.

Then they’ll come after me for writing critical content in this blog.

Then they’ll announce that Trump decided to be president for life, and the title will be inherited by Jr. This is right out of the playbook of the Kim dynasty in North Korea, so fervently admired by Trump.

We need to remove these sick clowns from our government.

vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based vulnerable entitlement diversity transgender fetus evidence-based science-based

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This strikes me as funny. We have it on tape from Access Hollywood that Trump said: “You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” What do those who don’t  believe Trump is guilty of sexual misconduct think this means? It’s ok to grab them? It’s normal? It’s acceptable?

 

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Ms White, Trump’s nominee for environmental advisor, is obviously clueless on some of the basic environmental issues we are facing today.

She would not be able to stand up to a classroom of fifth-graders.

This is our president, picking the “very best people” for every top government position in his quest to make America great again.

White attended Stanford University and received her Bachelor’s and Masters’s in East Asian studies and comparative religion. She also started, but did not complete, doctoral work at Princeton University for a degree in Comparative Religion. She also started, but did not complete, her law degree from Texas Tech University.

— Wikipedia

It’s odd that Trump would pick somebody with extensive studies in Comparative Religion. I don’t have the feeling that we are in good hands with this woman advising our president on environmental issues. Where does Trump even find these people? Surely, picking from 300 million Americans, he could have found a person more qualified than her? Perhaps somebody that has actually studied environmental science, or any science?

I am sure I would personally have known more about the issues Congress grilled this woman about than she did. But alas, I did not get nominated.

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Ladies and Gentlemen…

…the President of the United States!

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Dictator Trump is Frustrated

Trump said it was the “saddest thing” that “because I’m the president of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I’m not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I’m very frustrated by it.”

Mr. President, you’re not a king or a dictator. The American people elected you president of the United States. That means you can appoint people and thus set broad ideological priorities. They didn’t elect you to be the top law enforcement authority or the top judiciary.

The heads of governments in totalitarian systems act like that, or in monarchies.

None of those have ended well in the last century.

America is a democracy, foremost, and we have a system of checks and balances to protect the country from — people like you!

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What I seriously do not understand is who the 81% of Republicans are that approve of Trump.

The “grab them by the pussy” attitude does not bother them? The constant lying? The fact that he does not take responsibility for his actions, or gaffes? The fact that he can’t put a coherent sentence together? The reckless putting at risk our soldiers and, really, all of us? The fact that he does not do his constitutional duty and enforce the sanctions against Russia? He is supposed to protect the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. There is a clear and present foreign enemy. That does not bother the 81%?

I really have a hard time wrapping my head around that.

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